Every year, millions of unwanted dogs and cats, including puppies and kittens, are needlessly euthanized in shelters across the United States. The good news is that every pet owner can make a difference. By having your dog or cat surgically sterilized, you will be doing your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens and enhance your pet’s health and quality of life. Feral cats deserve caretaking just as much as the kitties that live with us. Don’t forget to sterilize them and ear notch their left ear to indicate that they have already been spayed or neutered. Most of these animals would make a great family companion, but there just aren’t enough homes for all of them. At ADL, we believe strongly in reducing the pet overpopulation problem but we need the community’s help to do it. ADL is dedicated to increasing the adoption rate at our shelter and informing the public on the importance of spay and neuter is one of our top priorities.
Many of you may or may not know this, but we have a huge population of stray animals within the city of San Antonio. Some have wandered away from their homes and could not be found by their owner or the owner elected not to locate their lost pet. Without identification tags of any kind or a microchip, it becomes extremely difficult for pet and owner to be reunited.
Many times than not, pet owners intentionally allow an unwanted pet or its litter to stray freely or they simply “dump” them somewhere instead of accepting the responsibility to spay/neuter their pet or to find the pet a forever home. Many pets are left abandoned and roam the streets in search of food and shelter, the abandoned pet usually finds a mate resulting in more unwanted litters. These litters exponentially produce many more dogs and cats for our community which is already struggling to find “forever” homes for our existing pet population.
Here are some numbers to ponder: More than 32,000 in Fiscal Year 2007, more than 26,000 in Fiscal year 2008, more than 15,000 in Fiscal Year 2009…that’s the number of dogs and cats that were euthanized at Animal Care Services during those fiscal years. Many of these animals were from litters born to family pets. Many were found wandering the streets–dirty, hungry, ill, injured or scared. Like bags of trash, many were dumped at the front doors of area shelters. The news only gets worse. Add on an average of 30,000 – 35,000 animals that died on our City streets during the same time periods. That’s an average of over 55,000 animals that have died in San Antonio over the past three years. It’s a tragic end…but it can get better with your help.
How can we tackle this huge problem? By spaying/neutering our pets! Spaying or neutering our pets is the only 100 percent effective way we can control the population of unwanted pets and ensure a decrease in the number of unwanted litters. In this country, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates it costs Cities millions of dollars every year to capture, impound and eventually euthanize the thousands of stray animals on our streets. Many of these animals are intact owned pets allowed to roam and breed with no regard for the consequences. That out of control and irresponsible breeding has led to San Antonio’s pet overpopulation problem. It will get worse unless we do something for our pets AND our community.
By making sure that your pet can’t have puppies or kittens, you’ll have peace of mind that his or her offspring won’t be euthanized at an already crowded City animal shelter, left alone to fend for themselves on the streets or worse. There will be no more messes of dealing with a female in heat. It has also been documented that early spaying of females alleviates health issues such as mammary tumors. No more noisy and possibly aggressive males “looking for love” in YOUR yard! Studies also show that the early neutering of males will reduce the incidence of prostate problems, testicular cancer and discourage territory marking or running off issues. Sterilizing helps reduce the risk of certain health issues for your pet, helping your pet live a longer life. Even if your pet has “just one litter” and even if you find homes for all those puppies or kittens, that’s fewer homes for pets who call our city’s shelters home. That means more pets could be euthanized at area shelters…and that’s the TRUE COST of not spaying and neutering your pet.
Please be part of the solution and spay or neuter your pet. Also, practice responsible pet ownership by keeping your dog or cat confined to your yard or home and using a leash when in public. Still, accidents can happen so microchip your pet and keep their pet ID tags and license current. Doing these things will go a long way towards reuniting you with your pet if it should stray from home. Again, keep your pets contained, licensed and vaccinated. Violation of these owner responsibilities could result in impoundment of your pet and result in unnecessary fines for you.
For further help on licensing and permits, please view the City’s Chapter 5 Code , which governs animals in the City of San Antonio.
At ADL, we have a diverse Low Income Spay/Neuter program designed to meet the needs of City residents. There is no need to qualify for our regular Low Cost spays/neuters performed at our Clinic. The prices are as follows: Cats – $30; Dogs under 25 pounds – $30; Dogs between 25 and 50 pounds – $45; Dogs between 51 and 100 pounds – $55; Dogs over 100 pounds – $75. Families and individuals on government assistance can qualify for discounted spay/neuter procedures for their pets. For those who qualify, the spay/neuter fee is $25. Written proof of government assistance is required, along with a valid federal or state photo ID. These programs are funded entirely by donations from the community and our fundraising efforts as a 501 (c) 3. If you would like to help us with keeping these programs going, please click the following link: https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=1007 to donate directly on-line or please mail your check or money order to:
Animal Defense League, 11300 Nacogdoches Rd., San Antonio, TX 78217